INNsight, a hospitality digital marketing software and services provider, announced that it used its program ADA Shield™ to help one of its hotelier customers avert a lawsuit related to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) online accessibility regulations.
As the hospitality industry's first and only online web accessibility program, ADA Shield™ helps hotels achieve the highest compliance standards and protects them from legal exposure to spurious "click-by" lawsuits. When Manning Law Group brought charges against INNsight customer Bay Bridge Inn in Donna Dugo vs. Bridge BKD LLC, INNsight leveraged ADA Shield™ to provide evidence that the hotelier was in full compliance with ADA Title III. Manning later withdrew the lawsuit.
"By helping hoteliers get compliant simply and affordably, ADA Shield™ is the gold standard for online accessibility," said Raj Patel, Founder and CEO of INNsight. "The program is setting a new legal precedent protecting hotels and restaurants from meritless and frivolous lawsuits. We're doing this while providing the assistive technologies that help businesses better engage with individuals with disabilities."
The ADA Shield™ program empowers hospitality businesses to demonstrate every step required to ensure compliance with ADA Title III's online provisions. After signing up at www.adashield.com/signup, businesses can leverage an end-to-end full software stack, including website design, a compliant booking engine and automated user data and behavior tracking, enabling complete forensic data analysis. All web sites that complete the ADA Shield™ program are Powered by INNsight and designed to be fully ADA compliant from launch, including conformity to Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA, an industry-first.
Using ADA Shield™, INNsight provided forensic support to demonstrate Bay Bridge Inn's compliance, including screenshots of booking pages and reservation software. INNsight's Content Management System also automatically displayed the property's accessibility features throughout the hotel's web site.
"With INNsight, we know that as long as we follow the ADA Shield™ program, we're protected," said Divyesh Patel, CEO of Bay Bridge Inn. "This easy-to-follow, comprehensive program is indispensable for our business and our customers with audio, visual or mobility impairments."
Manning Law Group frequently represents plaintiffs in ADA accessibility lawsuits, including the recent Robles v. Domino's Pizza, LLC case. After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Domino's last year, the pizza retailer petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision. In October 2019, the Court declined to review the case, opening the possibility for more lawsuits to appear that are related to web site and mobile app accessibility.
"Hundreds of California hotels, inns and other businesses have been sued by the Manning Law Group for alleged ADA violations," said Jim Abrams, Member Legal Advisor for the California Hotel & Lodging Association. "Hotels need to take proactive steps to make their website compliant before Manning Law Group or another firm comes calling. INNsight's program is proving effective in helping hotels dispel allegations of ADA violations."
"For nearly two decades, lawyers and serial plaintiffs have targeted hotels in cases that cost honest businesses tens of thousands of dollars under the guise of helping Americans with disabilities," said Kumar Maheshwari, Managing Partner at Mahesh Law Group, which represented Bay Bridge Inn in Donna Dugo vs. Bridge BKD LLC. "With INNsight's ADA Shield™, hoteliers across America can now defend their businesses and help fulfill the true intent of the ADA, which is to expand equal access for all."